Festivals, Reviews

QCinema 2019: ‘For My Alien Friend’ – An ode to existence and companionship

Cinema in its purest form, they say, is just an artistic arrangement of sights and sounds. The filmmaker manipulates every aspect of the film: color, saturation, hue, framing, score, and sound effects–to create a symphony of images in perfect harmony with its auditory elements. But a good film relishes not only in its technical merits… Continue reading QCinema 2019: ‘For My Alien Friend’ – An ode to existence and companionship

Festivals, Reviews

QCinema 2019: ‘UnTrue’ – Lies, guilt, and romance

The film opens with a shot of a small statue of a woman holding a bowl of grapes on one hand and a sword on the other. We later learn that it is a miniature version of the Kartlis Deda, a huge monument in Georgia's capital city of Tbilisi that greets visitors upon their arrival,… Continue reading QCinema 2019: ‘UnTrue’ – Lies, guilt, and romance

Festivals, Reviews

Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019: ‘Watch Me Kill’ – Of Fractured Identities and Moralities

The film begins mysteriously. We are introduced to a man, maybe in his late 40s or early 50s, seated in a dimly lit room, talking to an unseen person. The latter is a "principled" killer, he says, and so he trusts them as he offers them a handsome amount of money to end his unfinished… Continue reading Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019: ‘Watch Me Kill’ – Of Fractured Identities and Moralities

Festivals, Reviews

Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019: ‘Pagbalik’ – Dull and Unpolished

For the longest time, regional filmmakers have decried imperial Manila's hegemony in the local film industry. The media focuses heavily on Tagalog-language films, in effect neglecting films in other local languages even if the latter have been important to Philippine cinema since its inception. With the advent of digital filmmaking, however, regional filmmakers have found… Continue reading Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019: ‘Pagbalik’ – Dull and Unpolished

Lists, Reviews

Bong Joon-ho Films Ranked from Good to Best

By winning the prestigious Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for his highly ambitious and sophisticated film Parasite, filmmaker Bong Joon-ho has firmly cemented his place in world cinema. Indeed, the esteemed South Korean auteur is one of the most venerated directors of our time, his filmography a combination of arthouse and commercial… Continue reading Bong Joon-ho Films Ranked from Good to Best

Festivals, Reviews

Cinemalaya 2019: ‘F#*@BOIS’ – The Politics of Appearances

After 2013’s Quick Change and 2016’s Pamilya Ordinaryo, Eduardo Roy, Jr. returns to Cinemalaya with F#*@BOIS, a provocative crime thriller about bikini pageant contestants Ace (Royce Cabrera) and Miko (Kokoy De Santos) who also sideline as male escorts to their rich, closeted gay patron Mayor Fernan (Ricky Davao). The film, for which Roy won as… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2019: ‘F#*@BOIS’ – The Politics of Appearances

Festivals, Reviews

Cinemalaya 2019: ‘ANi’ – A Misguided Visual Feast

Out of all the Cinemalaya films this year, ANi: The Harvest was the one I was most excited to watch. Since last year's announcement that this futuristic sci-fi film made it to the main competition section of the festival, online publicity and marketing have been nonstop. The film crew, headed by directors Kim Zuñiga and… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2019: ‘ANi’ – A Misguided Visual Feast

Festivals, Reviews

Cinemalaya 2019: ‘Tabon’ – A Confused, Pointless Crime Thriller

A confession: during the first 30 minutes or so of Tabon, actor Xian Lim's first foray into directing features, I actually thought I'd end up enjoying it. For a directorial debut, it had a commendable patience that I would expect from more experienced filmmakers. The film had this eerie, macabre atmosphere, subtly hinting at the… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2019: ‘Tabon’ – A Confused, Pointless Crime Thriller

Festivals, Reviews

Cinemalaya 2019: ‘John Denver Trending’ – Re-evaluating Humanity in the Digital Age

When scientists began developing the internet in the 1980s, no one could have predicted the impact it would have on the world a few decades later. The internet has made it easier for people to connect with each other, raise awareness on various issues, and create discourse. If analyzed through the lens of Jürgen Habermas's… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2019: ‘John Denver Trending’ – Re-evaluating Humanity in the Digital Age